oa Lexikos - The effect of menus on EFL learners' look-up processes



This paper emphasizes the importance of empirical research on dictionary users and, in particular, investigates the effect of the so-called ""menu"" (a list of definitions at the beginning of a polysemous article) on EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners' dictionary look-up processes. The menu has been increasingly popular in English leamer's dictionaries in Japan, but no empirical evidence has ever shown that it is really effective for reference acts. Two groups of subjects with different levels of reference skills were observed looking up given information in two different types of mini-dictionaries, one with and the other withnut the menu. The results showed that the menu was not so effective for skilled users, but that it helped the less skilled users find the appropriate information.


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